Flu season can begin as early as October, peak in January and extend throughout May. It is often spread by droplets made when coughing, sneezing or talking. The droplets can be accidentally inhaled into the lungs of a person standing up to about 6 feet away. Another way influenza is acquired is from a person touching a surface or object that has the flu virus on it, and then touching their mouth or nose.
Flu prevention in seniors is especially important because a person’s immune system weakens with age. It’s difficult for seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities to stay away from crowded places and traffic. Some ways to prevent the flu virus include receiving the flu vaccination, practicing good hygiene, avoid touching the face, and eating healthy.
The most effective way for seniors to prevent influenza is getting the flu shot. There are two options for vaccination: a regular dose flu shot or a high-dose shot. The high-dose flu shot is designed especially for people 65 and older. A health care provider will be able prescribe the correct dosage amount based on current health conditions.
Washing hands frequently with soap and water can help kill germs. Avoid putting your hands near your face, especially mouth and nose. Hand sanitization should be done before and after eating, using the restroom, or handling dirty dishes and eating utensils.
Nursing care providers should always keep counters, bathrooms, and common living areas clean for residents to help prevention of influenza. At QHC, our care center staff clean and disinfects surfaces or objects that are used frequently, such as door knobs, light switches, counter tops, etc., to ensure good home hygiene.
Research shows that eating foods that are high in zinc like spinach, eggs, beans, and high-protein meat, contain zinc can help fight off influenza by strengthening the immune system. Other factors such as getting plenty of sleep and staying hydrated can help build the immune system and fight viruses that may enter the body.
Seniors are at a higher risk of complications from the flu. In fact, 50-70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred in people 65 years and older. If symptoms of flu develop in an elderly adult, a healthcare provider should see to them to ensure the virus isn’t growing stronger. Adults 65 years of age and older who acquire the flu have a higher chance of developing pneumonia.
Immediate attention should be given to elderly adults if they are experiencing the following symptoms:
QHC Nursing Homes Help Prevent Flu for Seniors
At QHC’s Assisted Living and Care Center facilities our staff ensures a clean atmosphere for our residents to help prevent any spread of the flu virus.
Posted on September 21, 2015 at 10:12 am
Our company was founded in 1977 by Kenneth Webb under the name Quality Health Care Specialists, Corp. In 2011, Jerry and Nancy Voyna became the proud owners after 20+ years of service within the company home office. At that time Jerry and Nancy changed the name of the company to QHC Management, LLC and QHC Facilities, LLC, respectively. QHC Management oversees the operations of QHC Facilities and in total there are 11 facilities; nine skilled nursing homes and two assisted living facilities.